University of Ottawa Team Places 2nd Nationally in the Bank of Canada Governor’s Challenge

Faculty of Social Sciences
Department of Economics
Awards and recognition
Student experience
uOttawa Economics team at Bank of Canada Governor’s Challenge
The University of Ottawa’s 2023-24 Governor’s Challenge Presentation Team with Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem, Professor Lilia Karnizova, and Professor Fabrice Dabiré

The Bank of Canada has announced the results of the national finals in the Bank of Canada’s ninth annual Governor’s Challenge, with the University of Ottawa team placing second nationally. Université de Sherbrooke took first place in the hotly contested final round.

Twenty-six competitive teams were assembled by universities from all over the country to research, analyze and present their monetary policy recommendations to the Bank of Canada. In the first round in the fall, they presented via video conference to a team of judges, with five finalists presenting in-person at the Bank on February 3, 2024.

The presenters for the finals were Abrar Arif, Adriana Suuronen, Greg Coleman, Mathieu Justino, and Nathaniel Frémy.

“This is AMAZING news!” wrote Dr. Victoria Barham, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in response to the results. “We are incredibly proud of the students, and grateful to our colleagues in Economics who have coached them, led by Professor Karnizova.” Other faculty members were similarly congratulatory.

In the Governor’s Challenge competition, teams succeed by undertaking a solid analysis of the state of the Canadian economy, ideally injecting a creative angle to the analysis. They recommend the next monetary policy steps the Bank of Canada should take based on this analysis. The team must pull it together as a crisp, articulate fifteen-minute presentation and shine through a Q&A session.

The University of Ottawa’s team is drawn from the students enrolled in ECO 4195 “The Art and Science of Monetary Policy-Making in Canada,” taught by Dr. Lilia Karnizova. Students in the course are immersed in the theory, tools, and techniques of formulating monetary policy. They also get special training on how to present from Mike Heffernan, the team’s presentation coach.

“The University of Ottawa’s team is always competitive. This was our third time to the finals, and a great result,” says Dr. Karnizova. “The level of student talent always impresses me. Our former contestants embarked on prolific careers in Economics, pursuing graduate degrees in top academic programs or joining policy and research institutions, such as the Bank of Canada, C.D. Howe Institute, and Oxford Economics. Many stay in touch and provide feedback during student practice sessions. We always receive a lot of great support from past team members, volunteers, the faculty and the department.”

“I love the competition, but I love watching the students grow into professional level with their analytical and presentation skills more,” says Mike Heffernan. “They’re turbo-charged to launch their careers.”

Dr. Karnizova will be passing the baton to Dr. Fabrice Dabiré for next year’s team while she is on sabbatical. Dr. Dabiré has previously worked with the Governor's Challenge team from Université de Sherbrooke, prior to joining University of Ottawa this year.

Mike Heffernan, Lilia Karnizova